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Week 16

Week 16
Friday - 3:00 PM EST Sunday, 4:00 PM EST
GB at MIN - CB NYG at SEA - CB
Saturday CAR at TB - CB
OAK at KC - CB WAS at DAL - CB
DEN at TEN - AD BUF at SF - AD
Sunday - 1:00 PM EST NE at NYJ - AD
ATL at NO - AD  
BAL at PIT - AD Sunday - 8:30 PM EST
SD at IND - AD Monday - 9:00 PM EST
NYG at CIN - CB  

Last Week's Projections
(12-4) Straight Up - 81.2%
(11-5) Against The Spread - 56.2%

For The Season
(141-83) Straight Up - 62.9%
(127-93-4) Against The Spread - 57.7%

Green Bay at Minnesota (-3), 3:00 p.m
Boy there had to be some happy folks out there that had Culpepper as their QB during the fantasy playoffs last week. He came up big with a 400 yard 3 TD effort. It looks as though Randy Moss might be on track as well he looked great on that 82-yard bomb from Culpepper. He really put on the afterburners and left some folks in the dust. Interesting to see that Tice went with Bennett last week instead of Smith. Also I hear he will be doing the same things this week as Bennett gets the nod again. There was nobody that felt better on Sunday than Tice when Detroit gagged on the extra point with 7 seconds left. It was looking like another Minnesota loss for a second. Now it looks like Favre is the only thing standing in their way of a divisional title. Start Culpepper, Moss, Burleson, Wiggins, and Bennett if you need a RB

Disappointing game for Favre. They need that win to keep pace with the Vikings. They just could not stop Fred Taylor as he really ran without much opposition all day. Favre put up great numbers but turnovers will kill you every time. The Packers are going to have to learn to stop the run or they can forget it. The big problem with this team if they make the playoffs will be the defense. They just can't stop anyone. They will give up at least 300 yards to Culpepper and will give up at least 125 total yards rushing. I don't see anybody in their secondary that can handle Moss or Burleson. Expect a big game from just about everyone in this one, as these are two horrible defenses. Start, Favre, Walker, Green, Driver and hope for the best.

Final Score: Vikings 32, Packers 28

Oakland (+8) at Kansas City, 5:00 p.m
Another game of high scoring possibilities. Both team have potentially dangerous offenses and no defense. Starting with KC who really put the boot to Denver this week to the tune of 45-17. Trent Green had a good game with 224 yards and 3 TDS, no interceptions, and only had three incomplete passes. Larry Johnson has really helped fantasy owners the last couple of weeks as he looks like mini-Holmes right now. He had another spectacular game with 150 yards and 3 TDS. He will get the starting spot for the rest of the year it looks like. Kennison has been another bright spot as he had 101 yards and 2 TDS. I think you will see much of the same this week. A lot of Larry Johnson and a little of Trent Green thrown in. Look for Green, Johnson, and Gonzo to all have big games.

Oakland did what I thought they would do the previous week; score in bunches. They outlasted the hot Billy Volek and the Titans from Tennessee. Collins had a ridiculous game with 371 yards passing and 5 TDS. There was no reason to run the ball as Porter had a season high 148 yards and three of those TD passes. Look for more of the same in this one. No defense and plenty of offense. Even though it is in KC, and there is always bad blood between these two, I can't see the Chiefs being able to take them by more than a touchdown. No way. Start Collins and Porter.

Final Score: Chiefs 30, Raiders 28

Denver (-4) at Tennessee, 8:30 p.m.
With both Steve McNair and Chris Brown out the rest of the season, the Titans will have lots of trouble keeping pace with the Broncos. But that certainly hasn't stopped Drew Bennett from going absolutely nuts three weeks in a row. On Sunday, these teams gave up 45 and 40, respectively, so this should get exciting for fantasy owners looking to ice their championships.

The Broncos should get great starts from Jake Plummer, Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie and whomever starts at RB, whether it's the injured Tatum Bell (shoulder) or Reuben Droughns. While the defense has been getting lit up lately, IDP guys have emerged as solid starts, including LBs Al Wilson, D.J. Williams, and Donnie Spragan and DBs Kenoy Kennedy and John Lynch.

The Titans have a few decent fantasy starters as well, including backup QB Billy Volek, WRs Drew Bennett and Derrick Mason, and maybe even backup RB Antowain Smith, who is playing in place of the injured Brown. On defense, the only real consistent performer is LB Keith Bulluck, although DB Lamont Thompson could blow up this week.

Final Score: Broncos 38, Titans 31

Atlanta (+4.5) at New Orleans, 1:00 p.m.
If Michael Vick can't go, the Saints have a chance at prevailing coming off a big win in Tampa Bay - where they stayed alive in the playoff race.

The Falcons don't have much going for them in this one a la fantasy matters except Vick, RB Warrick Dunn and TE Alge Crumpler. Vick may sit this game out and turn it over to rookie QB Matt Schaub, so look elsewhere if you have the luxury. On defense, the defensive line should continue to dominate, and IDP starters should include DL Rod Coleman, LB Keith Brooking and DB Bryan Scott.

The Saints aren't what I would call a team of destiny, but they will see good performances this week from Deuce McAllister and Joe Horn. Aaron Brooks might get forced into some mistakes, and Donté Stallworth is unreliable. IDP options include DL Charles Grant, DB Jay Bellamy, DL Darren Howard and LB Courtney Watson.

Final Score: Falcons 24, Saints 20

Baltimore (+6) at Pittsburgh, 1:00 p.m.
A must-win for the Ravens, this matchup should see lots of defense and maybe even an overtime field goal.

The Ravens had the misfortune of playing a pretty tough schedule and losing a few they should have won against lesser opponents, but they did dish Pittsburgh their only loss of the season thus far and match up well against them. While Jamal Lewis is an okay fantasy start, the Steelers will point most of their front seven in his direction on every play. Expect the unexpected in the passing game, with WR Kevin Johnson and TE Todd Heap getting loose for a couple scores. IDP options include LB Ray Lewis, DB Ed Reed, LB/DL Adalius Thomas and LB Terrell Suggs.

The Steelers won't see much from Big Ben, but will get solid games from RB Jerome Bettis and WR Hines Ward. Since there's not a lot of scoring to go around, that probably concludes the short list of decent fantasy starts. On defense, I'd go with DB Troy Polamalu, LB Clark Haggans, LB James Farrior and LB Joey Porter.

Final Score: Ravens 20, Steelers 17 OT

Chicago (+6) at Detroit, 1:00 p.m.
Both these teams are 5-9 with no place to go, and could get into a pseudo-shootout if Detroit gets ahead early. But the Bears only scored 5 points last week, so keep that in mind.

The Lions Joey Harrington is frustrated young QB who lost an emotional game on Sunday. Look for him and WR Roy Williams to link up quite a bit at home versus Chicago, with decent games from RB Kevin Jones and WR Az-Zahir Hakim. IDP options include DL James Hall, LB Teddy Lehman, LB James Davis and DB Brock Marion.

The Bears don't really have any solid fantasy starters, but may see something from QB Chad Hutchinson, RB Thomas Jones and WR David Terrell this week. Then again, if you are considering playing those clowns, you probably wouldn't have made your league's playoffs. On defense, I'd go with DBs Mike Green and Jerry Azumah, LBs Hunter Hillenmeyer and Lance Briggs and DL Alex Brown.

Final Score: Lions 27, Bears 17

San Diego (+7) at Indianapolis, 1:00 p.m.
There are lots of possibilities in this intriguing game, which could make or break a bye week for one of these teams.

The Chargers have a solid crew of impact fantasy players, all of which should get the nod on Sunday. They include QB Drew Brees, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, TE Antonio Gates and WR Eric Parker. After last week's modest 21-0 shutout, the Chargers will be looking to open it up. On defense, there's LBs Donnie Edwards, Randall Godfrey, Steve Foley and DBs Terrence Kiel and Quentin Jammer - who should get a lot of work against Indy.

The Colts defense will be put to the test, but everybody on offense, including Manning, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stokely, Dallas Clark and Marcus Pollard, are all good plays this week. Of course, someone will emerge with Manning and James as the top dogs, but you know that going in. The best IDP options include DL Dwight Freeney, LB Cato June and DB Mike Doss.

Final Score: Colts 34, Chargers 31

Houston (+7) at Jacksonville, 1:00 p.m
The previously mentioned Jaguars really had a big win at Lambeau in sub-zero temperatures to take Favre and the Packers. A really inspired performance by Fred Taylor. He really took the game into his own hands by rushing for that 165 yards and carrying the rock for 22 times. Leftwich was not great but it would be hard for anyone in those conditions. It more about survival than great plays. The defense is what impressed me the most. Although they left Javon Walker run crazy they really caused havoc by forcing three interceptions and two forced fumbles. That was really the game right there. Saying that however I think the Texans can hang within a TD. Their defense is decent as well. Play Leftwich, Smith, and Taylor.

Houston did what I expected. They really shut down the Bears and Chad Hutchinson with only allowing 220 yards of offense and no TDS. It was not the greatest game to watch but they controlled it and that is what gets you in the win column. Turnovers were the killer in this game as well. The Houston defense forced two interceptions and two forced fumbles. One of those was returned 60 yards for a score. Offensively it was not all that pretty but Davis had 95 yards and a TD. Gaffney looked good in this one finally going over the 100-yard mark. Andre Johnson has disappeared for owners lately. I haven't seen a great game for him in quite some time. Look for them to keep this one close and Davis to see a lot of action. Play Davis and Carr only if you have no other option.

Final Score: Jags 24, Texans 20

N.Y. Giants (+6) at Cincinnati, 1:00 p.m
I suppose you see a common theme with Cliff this week. I like the dogs to hold it within reason. The Giants impressed me with marvelous effort short-handed against the mighty Steelers. I think everyone knew that the Steelers would come out on top. But they certainly had to work for it. Was that a first round pick out there last week? It is about time. I didn't hear anyone bitching about the protection this week. Say what you want, Manning has just plain choked the last couple of weeks against some great defenses. He started settling down and played decent in this one. Not stellar numbers but better than that horrible performance last week. The special teams of the Giants really kept them close in this one. I think they have enough to hang with the Bengals for 4 quarters. Keep it around a field goal. Other than Barber I don't see anyone I would start on this team.

No way the Bengals were going to beat the red-hot Bills. That defense is way too strong. Kitna was thrown to the wolves and looked like it turning the ball over twice. The bright spot was a strong performance by Rudi-Rudi. Chad Johnson was a no-show in this one. Houshmandzadeh may be playing so well that Warrick may become expendable when he returns. Kitna will get the start again and I think they will be able to move the ball against the Giants but both of these teams are in similar situations at this point. Big injuries and QB's that are a little rusty. I think the Bengals will win but not by over 6. Start Rudi and C. Johnson.

Final Score: Bengals 28, Giants 24

Arizona (+7) at Seattle, 4:15 p.m
I don't think Seattle really wants to win the division. They got absolutely pounded by the Jets. Hasselbeck had a tough time with the Jets defense. He got injured and the word is he will play with the injury this week. The fact was they just couldn't stop the Jets from doing anything. It was painful to watch. I think it is safe to say the Seahawks may be the most disappointing team this year. They allowed an astounding 230 yards rushing and 253 yards passing with a total of 5 TDS. Alexander really wasn't a factor with only 77 yards rushing. The Seahawks seem to have a tough time moving the ball against good defenses. They have weapons but I have to think the Cardinals defense may put them up a good fight. I don't know if I would start Hasselbeck with that injury which may affect players like Jackson and Robinson as he comes back from suspension this week. I would stick to Hasselbeck and Alexander probably

The Cardinals are getting better ladies and gents. This was probably their biggest win of the year as they throttled the Rams 31-7. I think the benching Green gave McCown may have worked. He had a great game with 287 yards and 2 TDS. The biggest deal was no interceptions. He did lose a fumble but the defense really kept the Rams from getting back into it. The Cardinals chased Chandler in the first quarter and Martin completed less than 50% of his passes. They held Faulk to 22 yards rushing. I think the Cardinals have a good formula and may put up a pretty good fight against the Seahawks. It is possible they win this one if Hasselbeck is not fully recovered. No fantasy players from this team though.

Final Score: Seahawks 21, Cardinals 17

Carolina (+3) at Tampa Bay, 4:15 p.m
The Panthers almost pulled it off against the Falcons but they forgot about the Vick factor. How you allow him to score at the end of regulation on fourth down is beyond me. The Falcons defense is tough and Delhomme did a great job a carving them up. He had 340 yards and 2 TDS. Muhammad continues to catch balls all over the place. He had another great game with 135 yards and a score. It won't come as easy against the Bucs. I doubt Jake will have another 300 yard game. But Peppers will have a field day. I don't think this guy can be stopped. Gosh is he good or what? They really need this one to lock down a playoff spot. Play Delhomme and Muhammad. Goings may have tough sledding in Tampa.

That was a lot of points the Bucs had to give up against the Saints last week. They blew it. I read in the paper today that there are problems in the clubhouse. A veteran named Rice decided that Gruden might be a little too easy on the practices. No discipline. That doesn't sound good being the Gruden's biggest asset was supposed to be his motivating personality. I suppose the motivation is lacking right now. The Bucs did not look good last week. They should have done much more than post 118 yards worth of passing. That was against the worse defense in the league. I think there will be too many distractions for the Bucs to win this one. Look for them to take a loss.

Final Score: Panthers 27, Bucs 24

Washington at Dallas (+3), 4:15 p.m.
Dallas played maybe their best game of the year against the Eagles last week. Give them so credit for really bringing out the big hits and playing some D against one of the leagues best in McNabb. Even when Owens was in the game the Cowboys were playing well. They just couldn't put up enough offense to overcome the Eagles and lost by 5. They say that Vinny may be the man again this week. Jones will have a good game against the Skins but don't look for an offensive explosion by anyone, as both of these teams are offensive losers. Jason Whitten should find some holes in that Skins D.

Washington put together a win against maybe the worst team in the league in the 49ers. Ramsey did enough to win but he has much more to learn. Portis was run like a rented mule as he carried the pigskin 35 times. Looked like John Riggins out there. Banging out barely a 3.2 yard per carry average. Gardner decided to catch a few passes and went over 100 yards. I think they will try the same approach this week by pounding the ball at the Cowboys. Look for another 30 carries from Portis. But I think Ramsey will have a tough time throwing the ball. It will end up as a contest between Portis and Jones and I give the nod to the home-field guy. Start Portis, Jones, Johnson, and Witten.

Final Score: Cowboys 30 Redskins 27

Buffalo (-11) at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.
This won't be close, and since the Buffalo defense is awesome and everybody on San Fran is insignificant, the preview will be easy.

The Bills should get decent starts from Drew Bledsoe, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans and whomever starts at RB, whether it's the injured Willis McGahee, the relegated Travis Henry, or the nubile Shaud Williams. On defense, there's LB Takeo Spikes, LB London Fletcher, DL Aaron Schobel and DBs Terrence McGee and Lawyer Milloy.

The 49ers are injured physically and emotionally, and nobody is really worthy of a start except TE Eric Johnson, and maybe WRs Brandon Lloyd and Cedrick Wilson. Defensively, however, there should be a few guys cleaning up the tackles, including DL Bryant Young, LB Derek Smith and DB Tony Parrish.

Final Score: Bills 27, 49ers 10

New England (-2.5) at N.Y. Jets, 4:05 p.m.
Brady, you got some 'splainin to do! The Patriots looked quite human against the struggling Dolphins on Monday night, who had simply pride to play for. Nevertheless, I'd go with Brady, Corey Dillon, David Patten and Deion Branch this week in New Jersey. The Pats will look to open this one up on offense, blitz heavily on defense and get the Jets to turn the ball over as quickly as possible. IDP options include DL Richard Seymour, LB Tedy Bruschi and DB Rodney Harrison.

The Jets QB Chad Pennington is dinged up and facing a tough defense. The short list of solid fantasy starts includes Curtis Martin and Santana Moss, with Pennington an iffy addition. IDP guys include DL Shaun Ellis, LB Eric Barton LB Jonathan Vilma and DB Erik Coleman.

Final Score: Patriots 23, Jets 20

Cleveland (+7) at Miami, 8:30 p.m
Two 3-11 teams on ESPN's Sunday Night Football? Observers of the karmic cycle would say this has been coming to Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire for a long time. Unfortunately, this horrific game will make or break some poor slob's fantasy football season. The Browns won't see much happen on offense, so stay away from everyone except possibly Lee Suggs as a #3 RB or Antonio Bryant on a hunch as a #3 WR. I'm not kidding, be careful. IDP standouts will include DL Kenard Lang, LB Barry Gardner and DB Anthony Henry.

The Dolphins might make something happen on offense, but starting QB A.J. Feeley is still quite risky. I'd stick with TE Randy McMichael, WR Chris Chambers and maybe RB Travis Minor. On defense, there's DL Jason Taylor, LB Zach Thomas and DB Sammy Knight.

Final Score: Dolphins 24, Browns 13

Philadelphia (+3) at St. Louis, 9:00 p.m
You have got to be kidding me? I know that Owners was a huge part of the offense but this team is bigger than one guy. Give them some time to adjust and they will be just fine. But to be 3 point underdogs to the Rams with Bulger trying to come back from injury makes so sensed to me. The Eagles had a tough time getting by Dallas but they were just shell-shocked. They will regroup this week and should have no problem taking care of the Rams. People forget that they went to the Conference championship without Owens last year. Look for McNabb, Westbrook, and Mitchell to have good games.

Must be embarrassing in St Louis this week. Getting the crapped kicked out of you by the Cardinals has to be the low point. They need Bulger to come back big time. Without him this team is horrible. I think Faulk may be done. I see no burst in the way he runs and his injuries have just taken too much of a toll on him. Jackson should take over the load next year. The Eagles will come with everything this week because they will have no respect for the Rams running game. Bulger will turn the ball over at least twice and the Rams defense will get torched by McNabb, Play Bulger, Bruce, and Holt in this one.

Final Score: Eagles 24, Rams 20